RISE To Meet a New Year: #OneWord for 2016

RISE To Meet a New Year: #OneWord for 2016

Reading Kerry’s reflections on her “words” for this year and last, I realized that her one-word resolution for 2016 had been mine for 2015. My #OneWord for the year had chosen with good and hopeful intentions, but even before February arrived it looked like it might not be something I could live up to, and before long, I pretty much forgot about it entirely. The year of cancer didn’t bring me all that much I wanted to […]

True Stories: A Day in My Work Life

True Stories: A Day in My Work Life

Previously posted on The List App, where it was composed in something approximating real time A SPECTACULARLY UNPRODUCTIVE DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ACCOUNTING MANAGER (Or, further evidence of the existence of Monday and the hazards of technology) 5:00 AM: Get up with alarm (woke up about 30 minutes earlier, not on purpose) 6:35 AM: Leave for work (distance: 40 miles) 8:10 AM: Arrive at work, irritable from a 40-mile, 90-minute drive 8:20 AM: […]

#GivingTuesday 2015: Give Some Thought to Giving!

#GivingTuesday 2015: Give Some Thought to Giving!

(A version of the following was originally published here in 2014. Images used with permission.) I work with words online, but in my offline life, my job involves working with numbers. I’m one of those “bean counters” in the Accounting Office getting in the way of your creative ideas because there’s not enough money to do them. I have attempted to compensate for the dry soullessness of my profession by using my powers for good–that is, […]

Thankfully Fabulous Friday, And What Comes Next

Thankfully Fabulous Friday, And What Comes Next

I’m not officially participating in Jenn’s Thankfully Reading Weekend–although I will be very thankful for any reading time I get this weekend!–but today’s post comes via her and Michelle. Michelle asks what makes today a Fabulous Friday. Well, the fact I slept way past 5 AM and am writing this post while still in bad certainly helps, but it’s mostly because of this thing that happened yesterday:  The walker is something new that came home […]

Show-and-Tell MONDAY: Recapping Sunday

Show-and-Tell MONDAY: Recapping Sunday

The day started with a motorcycle and ended in a hospital, but despite what you might suspect, one had nothing to do with the other! But to begin by backtracking, this happened last Sunday: Yesterday. Paul and I began our morning with a ride to Malibu on his motorcycle, where this happened along the way: When I took my phone out of my jacket pocket after we got home, I found this text: An hour […]

Roads Not Taken: A Chronological List of Rejected Career Options

Roads Not Taken: A Chronological List of Rejected Career Options

WHAT I WANTED TO BE GROWING UP, CHRONOLOGICALLY “Teacher” and “nurse” were how most girls my age answered the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” back when we were growing up. I never said either. “Accountant” was where I ended up. It was never on the list at all. “Wife” and “mother” were nearly always assumed to be on the list, but for me–already a burgeoning 1970s second-wave feminist in […]

A Surprising Truth: I Miss Being Called “Ma’am”

A Surprising Truth: I Miss Being Called “Ma’am”

“Please stop calling me ‘ma’am’” I begged her. “I’m only five years older than you are!” “Sorry, I can’t help it,” she said. “It’s how I was raised.” “It’s how I was raised” explains a lot of Southern habits. This was Memphis, Tennessee, and so it was almost certainly true that she was raised to do it. She meant well by saying it and had been raised to say it with respect. But I hadn’t been […]

This Is Not the Shaggy-Dog Story We Thought It Was

This Is Not the Shaggy-Dog Story We Thought It Was

 You think you know someone… When we first brought our dog home in November 2014, he came with a story: “Chester is an adorable 3-year-old petite Golden mix who loves to receive cuddles and attention, and gives plenty of kisses in return. Chester’s favorite pastimes are chasing tennis balls and making a game of giving the ball back to his people, playing with his knotted rope, and getting walks – there is so much to sniff along […]

The Book (Purge) Report

The Book (Purge) Report

I declared my intention to do it over a month ago. It’s been nagging at me for far longer, but as it approached, I became ever more excited about undertaking it. I took last week off from work to get it done. The Big Book Purge of 2015 is now history, and so are nearly 400 books that have left both my house and my LibraryThing catalog. That’s a good-guesstimate number–I didn’t do a physical […]

Vacation Stories: Looking at Books in Seattle

Vacation Stories: Looking at Books in Seattle

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but after several weeks during which my work ate me alive, I did go on vacation for a week. We’ve just returned from our sorely-needed escape to Seattle and neighboring areas of the Evergreen State (with a day trip across the border to British Columbia). We’re still sorting and editing photos, but I thought y’all might want to see the bookish ones first.  You might […]

Slowdown on Sunday: My Reading Mother

Slowdown on Sunday: My Reading Mother

“Richer than I you can never be — I had a Mother who read to me.”                 —from “The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gillilan I actually did not have a mother who read to me. In our house, the parent who did the reading aloud was my dad. And once I learned to read for myself, before I entered kindergarten, I really didn’t want anyone to read to me. My mother’s eyesight was so poor […]

Sunday Slowdown: Let’s Play “20 Questions”

Sunday Slowdown: Let’s Play “20 Questions”

I’ve seen Ti, Jen, and Bryan tackle this “20 Questions About Me” thing recently, and I thought I’d play along today. I rarely do this meme-type stuff here any more, and it was a fun change of pace. Feel free to take these questions with you and answer them for yourself—I’d love to know what you have to say about them! HOW TALL ARE YOU? My driver’s license says I’m 4’9”. This is an exaggeration, […]

A(n Otherwise Unmemorable) Day In My Life

A(n Otherwise Unmemorable) Day In My Life

 Today’s the day that some of us are taking Trish up on her invitation to share A Day in the Life. I’m reporting on the events. such as they were, of Monday, March 23, 2015. I had an amazing case of Sunday-night insomnia; I don’t think I slept more than 3 hours total all night, but since I got in some solid reading time after I gave up on sleep and got out of bed, […]

4 Things You Can Do For a Family Whose Daughter Has Leukemia #beatcancer

4 Things You Can Do For a Family Whose Daughter Has Leukemia #beatcancer

As some of you already know, my stepdaughter Kate started chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at City of Hope Cancer Hospital on Tuesday of this week. She will be undergoing an intense treatment regimen for most of the next month–maybe less, possibly longer, all depending on how her cancer responds. Kate’s visitors are being strictly limited. I haven’t seen her myself since she was admitted to the hospital, and I’m not sure when I will, but […]

Sunday Slowdown, Unwelcome Randomness Edition: #cancersucks

Sunday Slowdown, Unwelcome Randomness Edition: #cancersucks

Some of you already know this, but if you hadn’t yet heard, we got good news on my husband Paul’s biopsies–both were negative. He is cancer-free. But the bullet that he dodged hit someone else, and he told me he’d much rather have taken it himself. I believe it. Many parents would say the same. This past Thursday, my 20-year-old stepdaughter Kate was admitted to our local hospital. Routine lab tests at a doctor’s appointment […]